With four proven starters, Diamondbacks' outfield is loaded

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TUCSON -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have four outfielders who have started and produced in the major leagues.

Sound complicated?

Not to Conor Jackson, who joins Eric Byrnes, Chris Young and Justin Upton in the Diamondbacks' crowded outfield picture.

It's one of the main story lines as the Diamondbacks open their 12th spring training.

The club is seeking its fifth NL West title.

Byrnes turned 33 this week and is the oldest of the group.

He says everyone's going to get their fair share of at-bats and they'll all be able to push each other and that's a benefit for the Diamondbacks.

At the end of last season, Jackson started in left field, Young in center and Upton in right.

Byrnes, who has played all three positions, was on the disabled list with hamstring injuries.

Now Byrnes says he's healthy, and Melvin expects the competition for starting jobs to raise each player's performance.

Melvin also says having four reliable outfielders will help keep the whole unit rested.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)